My Walk for Water
Mai Getem-Ethiopia March 2017
We pulled up to the village in a caravan of Toyotas. I wasn’t prepared for the emotion I would feel as I saw the children lined up with signs and jerry cans. My throat felt tight as I smiled and walked through the happy line of children. Even small children are not exempt from carrying water. In rural Ethiopia it’s a way of life that begins at a young age.
We walked with them to the place they collect dirty water from a hole in the ground. The path was rocky and dusty and my feet felt unsteady in my Toms. A young girl in a beautiful white and turquoise dress was generous to let me fill her jerry can. One scoop of water at a time I filled the yellow can but not before a cow leaned in to share my space. The full jerry weighed around 18 kilos or 40 lbs. I struggled to find a way to carry it up the rocky path. Finally, resting it on a shoulder I huffed up the path. After a 20 minute walk I happily handed the jerry can back to the girl. I may have taken her burden for a short time but she would have to make this walk 2-3 more times in the day. I had a new respect and appreciation for her strength.
After our walk for water, the village gathered under the shade of a beautiful tree and we shared. I stood up and told these strong women that I care. In all of my spare time I sew totes to raise money for clean water. I believe they should have water and time. Their daughters matter.
Did you know in Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours walking to collect water! I have a daughter and I’m not okay with this. I want girls to have time for school and I want women to have time to take care of their families.
Yuhme and I strive for the same goal- a world where everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water! It will take a village- want to join?